4L60E Shift Solenoid Guide

Owning a nice car doesn’t always mean a decent outlook and smooth driving. But it also must be equipped with the best possible engine including all kinds of necessary components and machines that help to keep the function of the engine at the top of the rate. Only then you can consider the car as the best for you in every manner.

When it’s time to come for enquiring about the components of the car or some other kind of vehicle, the shift solenoid is an integral part of the whole system of your car that you always need to keep in mind for the well being of your car.

What is The Shift Solenoid?

Shift solenoid is a kind of computerized car component that can be seen outside the transmission case or somewhere inside of it. The solenoid allows the right amount of fluid to flow in and again flow out of the transmission. It has a spring-loaded plunger wrapped with wires. When the wire gets an electric charge from the engine control unit, the plunger opens and helps to move the fluid in and out of different parts of the transmission. Therefore, you can easily understand how important it is to be the best in quality for the performance of the vehicle. However, in 4L60E transmission, there are 2 shift solenoids to control the upward and downward motions of the fluid that is flowing through them. Both of the solenoids work by the command of a computer that controls the functions of the vehicle.

The Locations of 4L60E Shift Solenoids

4L60E Shift Solenoid Guide

The locations of the shift solenoid depend upon the model and the brand of the vehicles. In most vehicles, the shift solenoid is found inside the oil pan and from there it is connected to the valve body. But with GM 4L60E transmission, the shift solenoid is fixed differently than others. Here you can see 2 types of shift solenoids, one[1-2 shift solenoid] is located on the internal valve body of the transmission and the other one[2-3 shift solenoid] is fixed outside of the transmission case.

How Many Solenoids Does A 4L60E Have?

As I have told you before that, unlike some other transmissions, the 4L60E transmission has 2 types of shift solenoids. Previously they are called Shift Solenoid A and Shift Solenoid B. But later the things are revised and called 1-2 Shift Solenoid and 2-3 Shift Solenoid respectively.

Symptoms of Bad 4L60E Shift Solenoid

It is not difficult to make out that if any component of a machine fails to work properly then there are so many functions that may go wrong due to this. The shift solenoid is also a component of the transmission so it is obvious that someday it can also give up working properly and causes different issues to your vehicle. Here are some very common symptoms that can tell you that your solenoids need to be replaced or changed.

Check Engine Light

The first sign that indicates the bad solenoid is the check engine light. If there is a problem with the transmission, the check engine light will light up to make you alert.

Failure to Downshift

If the 4L60E shift solenoid fails to downshift from one gear to another, then the shift solenoid is seen stuck open or closed. As a result of this issue, being failed to follow the command from the engine control unit, the transmission fluid cannot flow properly through the transmission.

Delayed or erratic Gear Shifting

If you face a problem where your vehicle is taking a long time to shift into gears, then you can blame the faulty shift solenoid for this problem. Moreover, if the shift solenoid is bad in condition, there would be a long pause between gear selection and engagement.

The bad shift solenoid in 4L60E transmission causes erratic gear shifting. It means the transmission will skip gears quite frequently and even fail to settle on the right gear.

Stuck in Neutral Mode

If you see that your vehicle could not carry out the required shifting from one gear to another and is stuck in neutral mode, then it indicates that the shift solenoid got damaged and the transmission is not working at all.

How to Test A Shift Solenoid On A 4L60E?

Sometimes you may doubt that everything is not going right with the transmission of your vehicle, especially the shift solenoid of 4L60E is not working properly. If that is so then you have to go for a test to make sure about it. Testing is a process that can be done following some steps. Here you go-

The Equipment

A ratchet set and a voltmeter are required for this testing job. The first one is to pull apart the delicate tools so that the problem might be quite visible to you. The voltmeter is the most vital tool for this purpose as it requires testing the resistance.

Lift The Vehicle

You have to lift the vehicle to a comfortable height using a jack so that you can slide underneath the vehicle and remove the bolts that fix the transmission oil pan. This makes the pan slide out and allows you to see the solenoid attached to the body of the transmission. Then find the plugs that are situated just above the solenoid only to unplug them one after another.

Start The Voltmeter

Now it is time to activate the voltmeter up to the measuring resistance of the shift solenoid and then turn the knob to 200volts. Remember, if you’re not careful enough while doing this may cause a wrong diagnosis of the solenoid.

Connect The Voltmeter

Connect the black wire of the voltmeter to the negative end of the battery and immediately then attach the positive end to the tab of the plug inside. In this way, you can take the reading from the voltmeter. If it shows 12 or 25 then nothing is wrong with the solenoid, but if it is either lower or higher than that, then your solenoid has turned to be a faulty one. Otherwise, the problem may lay in some other parts of your vehicle.

Once the entire testing is done, you’ll have to reseal the whole things that you had removed or loosened to work on the solenoid properly.

How to Replace A Shift Solenoid On A 4L60E?

The shift solenoids take a vital role to allow the transmission fluid to flow through the different parts of the 4L60E transmission, the well-being of the shift solenoids means a lot for the best performance of a vehicle. Therefore, if you find the shift solenoid of your 4L60E is broken, nicked, or damaged then a new one must be installed replacing the faulty one to keep your vehicle hassle-free while driving. This replacement job goes through a process. Here it is-

Draining The Fluid

You have to find out the drain plug of the transmission only to remove it for draining out the fluid to make the replacement job easier for you. If your transmission doesn’t have the plug then the job would be a messy affair for you.

Removing The Filter

This step isn’t an essential one to make the job possible. This requires only if you need some more space while replacing the shift solenoid with hitting the transmission.

Removing The Clip

If you look through the 4L60E transmission you’ll find a ‘c’ shaped clip that is used to hold properly the shift solenoid into the right place of the transmission. This clip should be removed using a small screwdriver.

Pulling Out The Solenoid

Once the clip is removed you can pull out the solenoid very simply by wiggling the rubber o-ring out of it.

Replacing The New Solenoid

4l60e transmission shift solenoid Guide
Credit: The Sundae Drive

Now it’s time to place a new shift solenoid with the best possible quality by following all the steps in reverse. Along with the shift solenoid, it is high time for you to change the transmission pan and the filter if they are in use for quite some time. And this time you must check if the pan is equipped with the drain plug.

Final Words

Owning a vehicle, no matter what kind of it is doesn’t require you to be a mechanic with a lot of ideas about the mechanism of cars. It is the experts who can handle the problems better and safely and you can trust them. But having some knowledge about a few petty matters is not a bad thing it can allow you to know at least what goes wrong and this even can make you capable enough to do some minor repairing jobs. This will certainly prevent you from shelling out some amount to a garage owner.

Hope what I’ve told you so far about the shift solenoid of 4L60E transmissions certainly gives you some basic ideas about it and also helps you to figure out if anything goes wrong in the future. Good Luck!!!

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